Learning and enjoying tasting: the sight

Tuesday January 17th, 2012

The world of wine for everybody.

The world of wine for everybody.

In this new post we are going to talk about the sense of the sight and its importance in a tasting. Thanks to the sight, the main visual aspects of the wine are established: its intensity, vivacity and tonality.

Looking at a glass of wine, we are given a lot of clues about the wine’s features: its maturity or youth, type of grape, alcohol content, visual defects, and so on.


The intensity refers to the greater or lesser colour of the wine: pale, dark, intense …

The colour will vary according to the kind of wine it is. So, red wines get paler as they age, but, on the contrary, white wines colour will deepen with age.


The vivacy refers to the wine’s brilliance or to its reflected light when comes into contact with the light. So, regarding its vivacity, a wine can be described as dull, matt, brilliant, and so on. 

The tonality refers to the specific colour nuances of the wine. In each single tone, a wide range of possibilities that cover a great variety of colors (lemon yellow, golden, topaz, salmon-pink, ruby-red, raspberry …) can often be found.

Finally, there are other terms related to wine: the legs , the rim and the core.

Legs: when you swirl the glass of wine and look at how it runs down the glass, you are looking at the legs. Look at the ring of wine near the top of the glass and how the droplets form and run back down into the wine. These are the legs. It is most readily observed in a wine that has high alcohol content.

Rim vs Core: When you tilt a wine in the glass, often a difference in colour and intensity can be perceived between the rim of the wine and its core. Older wines often have a broader and paler rim compared to those which are more youthful.


After these advises, the best thing you can do is to choose some wines and practice this.

In the next post we will learn about the smell. See you then!

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Principal authors in Bodegas Martín Códax
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  • alicia bará
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